Why Construction Toys Are a Key Component of Early Development

From engineering kits to building blocks, kids love toys that give them a chance to put their creativity to the test. But what many parents don’t realize is how beneficial construction toys can be in helping kids to reach early development milestones. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the different types of construction toys you can bring home, and how those toys can provide valuable learning opportunities.

Fine Motor Skills


In their preschool years, kids are still learning how to perform all the little tasks that seem so easy to adults. Things like fastening a zipper, tying a shoelace, or assembling a tower of blocks require a level of fine motor control that takes practice and determination to perfect. The more these tasks are a part of everyday activity, the easier they become for kids to master — which is where construction toys come in. Through simple activities like fitting two pieces of an assembly puzzle together, kids have an opportunity to practice and advance their fine motor abilities. At this stage in development, any construction toy that requires assembly by hand can have a positive effect. Just make sure your kids understand that it’s okay if they don’t get it right the first time, and don’t be afraid to give them a helping hand when they need it.

Problem-Solving Skills


Kids learn problem-solving skills by — you guessed it — solving problems. In the beginning, these problems can be small tasks like interlocking two matching pieces. But as kids advance, so should the challenges represented by their toys. By the age of seven, your child will likely be ready to tackle more difficult problem-solving tasks, such as the kind involved in elementary engineering and coding kits. The best problem-solving toys also provide opportunity for growth, letting early learners master different levels of difficulty as, and when, they are ready

Creative Thinking


Construction toys aren’t just about the scientific aspects of learning; they’re about creativity and ingenuity as well. For example, in order to build a castle out of Legos, a child must envision their creation, plan their approach, and bring the finished product to life — steps in which the imagination plays no small part. To encourage creativity, don’t correct your child if they choose to deviate from the plan set down by the product guide by, for example, adding wheels to their Lego castle — it’s all just part of the learning process!

Social and Language Skills


Social and language skills may not be one of the first things you associate with construction toys, but they actually play a significant role in the assembly process — especially for early learners. Since most kids don’t take on a new construction challenge alone, they must interact with other kids or adults as part of the learning process. This teaches them important fundamentals such as how to work with others and how to play collaboratively. Even small tasks like reading the instruction manual can help to refine language skills and put the building blocks in place for communicative success.

Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or a learning aid, incorporating construction toys into your playtime rotation can have benefits above and beyond the immediate fun of the project. Have your kids benefited from construction toys? Do you have a favorite learning game that you’d like to share with our readers? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below. You might also enjoy these additional STEM learning resources:

National STEM Video Game Challenge

Engineer your Life

STEM Education Resource Center

Kinetic City


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